twilight and shadow

National Orienteering Relay Champs 2010 - Naesby East

Monday was the final day which meant it was time for the club relays at Naesby East. I love Naesby but I'm not a fan of relays 'cause I don't cope that well under pressure. This year I was in a team with Pete Swanson and Jeff Greenwood and we decided for the more relaxed, fun approach. Pete even had us wearing our numbers sideways. They both had an early plane to catch so there was a joke that Jeff had set the alarm on his watch to go off at a certain point and if he wasn't back by then he was going to turn around and come back and Pete would swing by with his car as he came into the finish and they'd race off back to Dunedin. Fortunately we didn't need that backup plan!

Anyway, I think we all assumed the terrain wouldn't be too technical and it would be pretty easy but we were wrong! I overheard someone commenting that this was one of the most technical relays they've done. This area, like much of Naesby, is an old mining area but unlike the rest of the area it's not covered in forest. Naesby (the forest) is often considered to be New Zealand's most technical map so perhaps it should have been no surprise that the open area was also technically difficult.

The start of the relay event

Anyway, I was running second leg which is the shortest of the 3. Pete was powering through the course so I didn't have to wait long before I was off. Started okay and got to the first control to find a few people standing around looking hopelessly lost (the first control is normally a split, meaning different people will have different controls but in a similar area). I ignored them and kept going. Was a bit tentative on #3 and ran to the wrong #4 to start with 'cause I was looking for a grey rock, not a dirt rock. Silly mistake. The next control was the spectator control...just head towards the noise! Easy!

Coming out of the spectator control I was aiming to head up the valley to #6 but ended up hitting the green. I backtracked, but not before leading a whole group of others into the green (they kept going but I relocated and got back on track...didn't see them after that so I must have made the right decision). It was all fine until the final control which felt a lot higher up the hillside than it was marked. I was reluctant to go too far up but there was no other option. Vegetation was real vague so it seemed funny. Oh well.

The run into the finish was funny though. I was so buggered but there was a group of people screaming at me to start sprinting so I attempted to put in some more speed but my legs didn't have any more left. But I ended up with a pretty good time and made up quite a few places so Pete was thrilled. Unfortunately Jeff didn't have a very good run (he wouldn't even talk to us at first when he finished) so we lost a few of those places I'd made up but it was awesome fun and made me like relays for once!

Can't wait to come back to Naesby again. I love it!